Tag: accounting

Enrolled Agent vs. CPA – Which Makes More Sense for Your Business?

Saturday, March 4th, 2023

When tax season comes around, it is time for the yearly grind of tax preparation for your business. Few things have the potential to be so time-consuming, frustrating, and problematic. The IRS has the power to levy serious penalties that can severely affect the finances of your business. It is just a smart move to hire a tax expert for SMBs to help you navigate the complexities of the tax code and the filing process. If you search for tax preparers near me, you will find both certified public accountants and federally licensed Enrolled Agents, but which is best for your business? In this article, we will look at the differences between them and help you figure out which is best for your business.

Who is a Certified Public Accountant?

There are a number of requirements that it takes for someone to become a Certified Public Accountant. They must have a bachelor’s degree in business, finance, or accounting. It is also mandatory that a CPA candidate have a minimum of two years of accounting experience and finish 150 hours of education. Passing the Uniform CPA Exam is the final hurdle to becoming a Certified Public Accountant. Then they must be licensed by the Board of Accountancy for their state.

Who are Enrolled Agents?

To begin with, a Federally Licensed Enrolled Agent (often abbreviated to EA) is a highly trained specialist in tax issues. In order to become an Enrolled Agent, a tax professional must either complete at least five years of employment with the IRS or successfully pass a complex exam administered by the IRS. Being given the designation of Enrolled Agent is the most distinguished credential granted by the IRS. An EA is an expert in a wide range of tax topics, including tax planning, IRS representation, 1040, and much more. That expertise means that they usually earn $15,000 to $20,000 more a year than a CPA.

Which of the Tax Preparers near me should I Hire?

When you hire a tax expert for SMBs, you will want to take a few things into consideration. Both a Certified Public Accountant and a federally licensed Enrolled Agent can be a lot of help to your business. Both are highly trained, but there are differences that you should keep in mind. Because of the direct experience that an Enrolled Agent has with the IRS and their specialization in tax law, they can be enormously helpful in getting business taxes in order. Their title also lends weight to their representation of your company.

EA or CPA: Which Will You Choose?

A Certified Public Accountant, on the other hand, is a great choice for helping your business with bookkeeping, both in organizing and maintaining your books. They are also useful for business advice and help you manage your business’ assets. They often offer a wider range of services than an EA and often charge less. A CPA can, of course, also help you with taxes and represent you before the IRS. Whether you choose an EA or a CPA for your business will depend on your specific needs and which has the special skills to address them.

Book your free consultation today with BMH Accounting.

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How to Build a Strategic Plan and Engage Employees for Business Success

Friday, July 1st, 2022

Building success requires both a plan and engaged participants — like your employees and staff. Crafting a success plan begins with a few fundamentals in business that foster success and encourage unity among those under your leadership.

Make Prudent Investments

Consider your time and energy to be your most valuable commodity; don’t invest your time just anyplace. Look for important and meaningful outlets toward your business goals that are worth your efforts. Prioritization is key in making prudent investments of your own time at work.

Become a Delegator

Learn to delegate effectively and, as a leader, hand-off tasks that are high effort and low benefit to the team’s goals, overall. While you may not be able to skip these tasks altogether, don’t waste your time on them. Give these projects to team members that are industrious and looking for additional challenges during the workday. Delegating also sends the message to the team that you trust them and need them, which can improve morale and overall success, subsequently.

Start the Day with a Plan

Make a tactile plan each-and-every day. Start the day by reviewing the list, that you have started the day before. Break larger jobs down into manageable tasks and give yourself some of these chores daily to work toward getting the larger project accomplished. Be realistic though about time restrictions and your busy schedule.

Foster Focus

If you want to make progress toward your priorities and goals, eliminate the din and distractions that can waste valuable time throughout the day. Give yourself uninterrupted time to work on these projects and review the team’s progress toward goals by setting a timer and avoiding calls and online detours during the exercise. This can be tough but setting 30-minute time periods can result in a lot of progress toward outlined goals by the end of the week, month, and year. Without the added energy of multi-tasking, you will fly through tasks and activities.

Take Your Time

Always take the time to review and evaluate the progress that you and your team are making toward goals. Never be too busy to reflect and revisit instances that may be vital to meeting certain milestones or markers. Provide positive affirmation and honest feedback to your team so that individuals may find ways to improve performance, while also making their own job easier in many instances.

Give Yourself Room to Improve

Nobody is perfect and even the best-laid plans can sometimes falter. A good leader understands that there is always room to improve and it pays to continually come up with fresh strategies for success, whether this is new marketing campaigns, inventive incentive programs, or innovative tactics to find talent for the company. Give yourself measurable goals including priorities and accomplishments on a daily calendar or planner.

When it comes to small business accounting, rely on the industry experts at BMH Accounting, with multiple locations in South Florida. The team of qualified accounting professionals at BMH provide monthly accounting, bookkeeping, tax planning, and payroll services for businesses, brands, and entrepreneurs in the area. For more inquiries or assistance with your business plan. Feel free to contact us or call today.

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Discover the Perfect Client

Wednesday, June 15th, 2022

Who is your company’s perfect client? Tapping into the demographic that your product or service best-serve can help create a loyal consumer base that provides potential patrons for years to come. Not to mention, satisfied clients and customers are the best kind of advertising with positive reviews and word of mouth. Narrowing in on your loyal target audience will involve profiling and finding the perfect fit for what you offer, which takes research and marketing strategies.

Discover the perfect clients for your company, business, or brand, with these tips:

Know What you Do

Before you can recognize your ideal consumer and target audience, you need a full understanding of what you are selling. Watch, listen and observe to determine how your product or service is being used by your customers and measure changes in buying habits or patterns over time. Be an expert when it comes to conveying what you do.

Obtain Honest Feedback

In order to determine who and how your product is being used, you need to get feedback from your buying audience. This may be achieved with surveys or other tools and through offering promotions and rewards for participation. Follow-through will be impeded if there are technical issues or glitches so make sure that you choose a platform that will work smoothly for your reviews. Know that preferences, interests, and opinions can change over the course of time so survey and engage your buyers regularly. Social media is another platform that makes it easy for customers to reach you and share their experiences. This inside information can better help you find the client that is perfect for your product or service.

Stay Relevant and Current

Always update information pertaining to your consumers and keep your contact list of clients current. Maintain a simple spreadsheet or database with contacts, promotions, and campaigns- as well as the outcome and conversion rates of these efforts. A thorough and accurate customer contact list is gold; maintain and protect it.

Find your Audience

Go a little deeper to differentiate potential patrons from perfect clients by finding out a bit more about them. For instance, information pertaining to gender, job, and interests can help point to whether they are a good fit for what you offer. The more information you can elicit, the more streamlined and accurate you can make marketing efforts in an attempt to lure them from rivals or competitors offering similar goods or messages.

Target your marketing efforts toward your perfect clients with these tips. Got other business-related questions? Rely on the industry experts at BMH Accounting, with locations across South Florida. BMH Accounting specializes in serving the needs of small businesses with monthly accounting, bookkeeping, tax planning, and payroll services.  Call to learn more today.

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Know Your Tax Obligations to Ensure Your Business Remains in Good Standing

Wednesday, June 1st, 2022

Every business, no matter how small, has several tax obligations that it must meet. This includes taxes at the federal, state, and sometimes local level along with payroll taxes. At BMH Accounting, we understand that keeping track of so many obligations can be challenging. However, doing so is essential to avoid fines and possibly other sanctions from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and your state or local governments.

In terms of withholding from employee paychecks, you must deduct federal tax, state tax if applicable, social security, and Medicare. Below we outline how to determine your tax obligation at both the federal and state levels. Before you arrange to pay any taxes, however, you must first choose your tax year.

How to Choose the Tax Year Most Appropriate for Your Business

Choosing a tax year to coincide with the 12-month calendar year is the most common among business owners. This typically works well for companies without special accounting situations that would require the business owner to choose another alternative. If your accounting cycle doesn’t end on December 31, using a fiscal year instead of a calendar year will work better for you. If you have a special situation such as operating your business only part of the year due to starting or stopping it, you should select a short tax year for your filing status.

Federal Taxes

The type of structure you choose for your business determines the categories of taxes you pay and how much you pay for them. You may be subject to one or more of the following types of federal taxes:

  • Employer tax: This covers specific payments you must make such as contributing to the workers’ compensation and federal unemployment programs.
  • Estimated tax: As a self-employed business owner, you must make estimated quarterly tax payments to the IRS.
  • Excise tax: The IRS only charges this on specific services or goods such as alcohol and tobacco.
  • Income tax: This is the amount of federal tax withheld from employee paychecks based on their income and number of exemptions.
  • Self-employment tax: People who employ themselves are subject to the full amount of social security and Medicare, currently 12.4 and 2.9 percent.

State Taxes

Each state creates and enforces its own rules regarding employment taxes. If your state collects these taxes, the types and amounts you pay will depend on your business structure and physical location. If you’re a sole proprietor, for example, you will pay state taxes via estimated payments and include your income and expenses on your personal tax form. Corporations, on the other hand, pay taxes as a separate entity from the people who own the business.

Get Help with Proactive Tax Planning and Meeting Your Tax Obligation

BMH Accounting is available now to assist your small business with a tax planning strategy to reduce your tax burden and gain a better understanding of the tax obligations you face. Please contact us today to request your initial consultation.

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Surviving a Slow Season and Increasing your Cash Flow

Sunday, May 15th, 2022

Maintaining and managing healthy cash flow is key for small businesses, particularly if your business is seasonal in nature, like a construction or landscaping business. Remember, work tends to wax and wane with the seasons and you will need to consider the slow times during more prosperous times of year in order to survive. Without adequate cash flow, you won’t be able to pay vendors, payroll, or rent during the off-season.

Create a Statement

The first thing to do is create your cash flow statement to track money coming in and going out of your business. The aim is a positive cash flow year-round, to meet your financial commitments and responsibilities.  

Forecast your Cash Flow

Once you have constructed your cash flow statements, you can develop a cash flow forecast for the next year. This will demonstrate the highs and lows of the company due to the season which helps you better predict and prepare. This also identifies if you need to figure out a plan to gain additional capital to supplement the slower seasons in order to survive.  If you spot a potential issue, begin to apply for help and financing before it becomes an emergency; a cash flow forecast helps you do this.

Collect What is Due

To increase your cash flow, become more assertive about collecting what is owed to you. Have a payment policy in place that rewards prompt payment for service. Make payment arrangements short-term and aggressively go after outstanding debts. Be persistent with patrons that are slow to pay and request deposits on scheduled projects or products to generate more incoming cash.

Play with Payments

Play around a little bit with creditors in terms of extending payments a bit longer during the slower months. Stretch out payments during the off-season if the creditor is open to this to give you more time to collect from those that owe you, too.  

Cut for a Cushion

Cut back and create a cushion for your business. Reduce what is going out and increase what is coming in to prepare for the slower season; it is as simple as that. Come up with creative ways to increase offerings during these times, while cutting down on services, subscriptions, and payments that you are making to help build your nest egg.

Get with a Program

Invest in an accounting software program, like QuickBooks, that is user-friendly and inexpensive. This software will help you create cash flow statements that allow you to monitor and assess your fiscal situation at a glance. This allows you to adjust and identify issues before they become financial crises.

Talk to a Professional Today

Remember that hiring a financial planner and accounting professional is the most prudent and practical way of sustaining and surviving during all seasons. Work now to preserve cash flow and build reserves for later. Don’t wait until times are tough to reach out for help; plan ahead and talk to the industry experts at BMH Accounting today.

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